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Illinois Supreme Court history: Decator Campbell, self-defense, and race

In 1854, four men attacked Decator Campbell in his home in Massac County. At the time of the attack, Campbell’s wife and daughter were in the home. One of the attackers, Goodwin Parker, grazed Campbell’s head with a hatchet. Campbell (or his wife or daughter) grabbed a knife and stabbed Parker, who died after a few minutes. Campbell was arrested for the murder of Parker. At his trial in June 1854, he was found guilty in what should have been a clear case of self-defense. Decator Campbell was Black; Goodwin Parker was white. The crime occurred in 1854 when Black codes in Illinois dictated the lack of rights of Africans Americans

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Pretrial Implementation Task Force hosts first town hall, unveils new webpage

The Illinois Supreme Court Pretrial Implementation Task Force (Task Force) hosted its first in a series of monthly town hall meetings on June 23 via Zoom with over 160 individuals in attendance. The Task Force also launched a new webpage on the Illinois Courts website to provide updates as the state prepares for changes coming once the Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA) goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

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Justice Lisa Holder White to become newest member of Supreme Court of Illinois

The Honorable Lisa Holder White will take the oath on Thursday, July 7th, as the newest member of the Supreme Court of Illinois, the first Black woman to sit on the state’s high court. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Rita B. Garman, who retires as the longest serving judge in Illinois.

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Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation receives grant to digitize case files

A new project will make early Illinois Supreme Court case files more accessible to the public. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) has awarded the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission a $135,000 grant to support the digitization of nearly 3,700 case files from 1818 to 1865—the beginning of Illinois statehood through the Civil War. The Commission expects the work to take two years.

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